The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on Aug. 2 passed bipartisan legislation to combat human trafficking.
The No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act (S. 1532) and the Combatting Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act (S. 1536) now head to the Senate floor for consideration.
Specifically, the No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act would disqualify individuals from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for their lifetime if they used a CMV to commit a felony involving human trafficking.
The Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act would focus on the prevention of human trafficking by designating a human trafficking prevention coordinator at the U.S. Department of Transportation and would increase outreach, education, and reporting efforts at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Committee Chairman U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), applauded the legislation, saying, “We must take action to combat the deplorable act of human trafficking in the United States. The two bipartisan bills that passed the Commerce Committee today represent an important step toward achieving that goal, and the sooner they get to the president’s desk, the sooner we can send a strong message to anyone who might consider engaging in this horrendous criminal activity.”
Thune introduced S. 1532 last month with Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), ranking member of the Commerce Committee, and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a member of the Commerce Committee, and cosponsored S. 1536, which was also introduced last month.
The committee held a hearing on July 12 to explore the role that transportation providers play in combating human trafficking.
NATSO and the NATSO Foundation underscored the truckstop and travel plaza industry’s commitment to combating human trafficking in a statement submitted to the Committee with respect to its hearing on how transportation and supply chain stakeholders are combating human trafficking.
The NATSO Foundation has been helping members of the truckstop and travel plaza community engage in the fight against human trafficking since 2012. The NATSO Foundation’s goal is to provide the truckstop and travel plaza industry with the necessary tools to train owners, operators and employees so that those individuals are equipped to help if they encounter a victim of this horrible crime.
All members of the truckstop and travel plaza community are encouraged to take the NATSO Foundation’s online course titled, “The Role of Truckstops in Combating Human Trafficking” to learn how to recognize and respond to suspected incidents of human trafficking. The course is available free of charge so that any member of the truckstop and travel plaza industry can leverage this educational resource. The course can be accessed at www.natso.com/onlinelearning.
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